Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial PorterVictory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

5,534 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,534
Reviews: 1,229
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.84%
Wants: 938
Gots: 1,526 | FT: 103
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: radshoesbro on 03-17-2009

Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,534 | Reviews: 1,229
Photo of beerforpresident
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Revisited this one last night. Rich, of course, but also way more drinkable than I remember. Excellent coffee, chocolate. The vanilla is nice at first, but turns a touch too sweet towards the end.

Been a standby since the first time I had it. Even so, I'm looking forward to trying an even fresher bottle of this when it rolls into town again.

22oz (Enjoy by: 11/07/13) into tumbler

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Thick black pour, foamy tan head that fades pretty quickly, but leaves some lacing and a ring of bubbles.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate malt, bitter coffee, hints of vanilla and caramel.

T- Wow. Roasty malts, with hints of chocolate and coffee at the beginning and through the middle. Finish is a huge amount of vanilla with coffee mixed in. Finish is like a vanilla flavored coffee.

M- Full bodied, velvety and smooth. Medium carbonation with a very good feel.

O- Was not expecting this amount of vanilla and coffee in this beer. While it says "vanilla coffee porter" on the label, I was still pleasantly surprised with the flavor. As advertised and very tasty.

Photo of strangefate
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black with a two finger dark brown head and little lacing that disippates quickly.

The scent is of coffee, mocha, a toasty malt presence, and a tinge of vanilla.

I found that for myself when I sipped it in such a way where it first hit the tip of my tongue, I got the sweetness and vanilla taste up front, which is the part of the taste I like the best. The vanilla presence in this is just incredibly delicious. There is also a strong coffee presence, some caramel, and a bit of a hop presence. Although I mostly prefer drinking bigger beers somewhat close to room temperature, I prefer this one a bit colder as the sweetness is more present as opposed to the coffee taste - it's great either way though. The alcohol taste is masked very well for a 10% brew, whether cold or close to room temperature.

This has a medium-heavy mouthfeel which is very smooth and complements the beer so well. I can't imagine a better mouthfeel for the style.

Although I drink this slow and savor the flavor, I could drink this all night, it's just an amazing beer - something I'll make sure to buy every time Ballast Point releases it.

Photo of TheCuriograph
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From a bomber, poured into a pint glass.

A - Pitch black, with a two-finger tan frothy head. Head aerates slightly, leaving nice spiderweb lacing.

S - Coffee and vanilla dominate with a sugary sweetness that masks any booze or bitterness.

T - The rich vanilla really rises to the top, leaving the coffee-malt body to follow. There's a sharp espresso bitterness the subsides nice and gentle. Behind all of it is a tangy alcohol, almost like dark cherry intermingling with caramel.

M - Mealy, oil mouthfeel. Substantial and heavy, a perfect desert-course unto itself.

O - One of the better coffee-focused beers I've had. The sweetness and bitterness are perfectly balanced, and it's full and quietly boozy. A great dessert beer.

***

Politics, Art, Beer. A Compendium of Worldly Facts
The Curiograph
www.thecuriograph.com
Twitter: @TheCuriograph

Photo of Treyliff
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours pitch black with a small creamy light-tan head that retains long after the pour, leaving behind some short rings of lace

S- big fresh coffee espresso notes melds with melted dark chocolate, toasted vanilla biscotti, fudge brownie, dried dark cherry and fruit bread

T- fresh dark roast coffee up front, highlighted by sweet vanilla, chocolaty malt, and toasted almond. Dark fruit notes of prune, fig and raisin on the finish with a sweet cherry juice finish

M- medium body and carbonation with a light-yet-creamy mouthfeel, leads to a smooth and velvety finish. Loaded with flavor, but still keeping a light enough mouthfeel for a porter, ABV is hidden very well

O- the vanilla meshes almost perfectly to an already solid base coffee porter. Drinkability is on point, solid beer!

Photo of yamar68
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been looking to try this beer forever, just never actively sought it out. But guess what? Hessian257 sent one my way in a mystery box recently!

Dark, dark, dark... nice half finger of creamy pale brown head. Great slick lace and cloudy beading beneath. Good looking stuff for sure.

Aroma doesn't wait for me to find it... mocha, oily coffee bean and bitter chocolate, mellow vanilla, some hazelnut and other nutty aromas. Loves it.

Big, bold blend of coffee, caramel, smooth vanilla, fudge... a bit sticky, bittersweet, maybe some berry notes buried in here somewhere. Delicious in every way.

Thanks Dave! Permanently ISO.

Photo of Seanniek91
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bomber into a Grey Sail pint. Put in the fridge for an hour prior to consumption.

Appearance- Pitch black with thin mocha head that didn't last long. Mocha ring remains around the top of the beer.

Smell- Strong. Coffee, sweet chocolate, burnt vanilla aromas, some licorice, heavy sweet chocolate malts. The booze is relatively hidden in smell.

Taste- Wow heavy coffee with mild lingering vanilla notes. Dark bitter chocolate rounds out the coffee nicely and smooth malts balance with the bitter chocolate. Very well balanced beer. Booze is also not forward, which for 10% is incredible.

Mouthfeel- Very drinkable and smooth with moderate carbonation. Too drinkable actually.

Overall- This is an awesome beer. Great, well balanced flavors and smooth body in this one.

Photo of Kendo
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is black with a 2-finger, tannish/chocolate brown head that leaves behind nice thick rings of lace.

S: Not as strong as I'd expected, but I think that actually bodes well, as I've had plenty of vanilla-added beers that really overdo it and you note it right away in the nose. I get mainly roasty notes - roasted barley malt & coffee beans - with just a touch of vanilla.

T: "Roasty" is the first word that comes to mind. Some coffee, plenty of malt, a modest amount of vanilla and a touch of charcoal/char that provides bitterness. Finishes with a surprisingly solid bitterness that provides a nice offset of all the otherwise malty flavors (as well as the "added" flavors of vanilla and coffee). No trace whatsoever of the 10% ABV.

M: Good for an imperial porter - nearly full-bodied in heft, but with a good creaminess that makes it drink lighter.

O: Tremendous stuff. Nicely balanced and tasty.

Photo of beergoot
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle label data: none

Deep mahogany, brown body with stringy clumps of viscous, clinging, tan colored foam. Smell exudes coffee grounds and smokey wood. Rich vanilla sweetness combines with charred grain and coffee flavors for a rich, slightly astringent taste experience; mocha; semi-sweet chocolate; mild alcohol heat. Medium-heavy body; smooth; semi-dry finish.

A deep, rich, and fully satisfying porter, chock-full of dark grain goodness and sweet malt sugar and vanilla character. A must-try example of an imperial styled porter...

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into St. Bernardus Chalice. 2010 bottle.

A: Awesome look, very dark brown-black body with epic brown head and super lacing on the glass. Awesome start.

S: This is nice- a huge fudge note, some roast, vanilla type sweetness with an oaked tinge to it. Some coffee in there. Not as strong as I'd like but very nice

T: Much more going on here. The vanilla and coffee flavors are well highlighted over a base of roasty chocolate. A sweet front and a bitter chocolate dry finish, huge charred malt characters and a bit of smoke, and some alcohol burn and sweetness as well. Barley and cereal notes add in to beef up the overall body and flavor of the beer. Supremely balanced and amazing, some definite creamy almost milk shake malt qualities to it. Probably the tastiest imperial porter there is.

M: Smooth and creamy, very viscous. Great carbonation level and no heat, just amazing over the palate.

D: Great beer. I love it and will continue to buy it if I see it, also I'm curious to see how it ages and if the vanilla and coffee fade away.

Photo of kaseydad
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In the cellar for almost a year but couldn't take him staring back at me each time I passed him over for another. Pours a beautiful black ale with a brown fluffy head. Stays for awhile and then turns to a thin layer. Great vanilla in the smell. Simply awesome with a background of milk chocolate and Hershey's syrup. I could smell this all day. It's that good. Nice roasty flavor with some bitter chocolate, espresso hints and some smokiness on the swallow. Not getting much vanilla in the taste but the coffee charachter really comes out as it warms. I thought the mouthfeel was a little too carbonated for my liking but that was only a slight "problem" with this amazing brew. Overall I am a forever fan of this brew and look forward to his release again. And the 10% must be a misprint. Much too easy to consume and sharing may be difficult. Great job!

Photo of dredmahawkus
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

one of the best coffee porters I have had! its very smooth and balanced! the vanilla note at the very end is kinda perfect! wonderful beer!

Photo of anon
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow, wow, wow!

Pours velvety black, beautiful beer on the pour. A full finger of a coffee colored head, with sticky lacing throughout.

Coffee hits big on the nose, and for a coffee lover, draws you in big time. Mouth watering already. Notes of vanilla, caramel, roasted malts, roasty toasty.

Taste and mouth feel are where this brew owns a gold star. Coffee up front. Big, beautiful roasted, creamy coffee; the bitterness of the dark roast hitting instantly, with the sweetness of vanilla lashing at your taste buds, light caramel and toffee way in the back. A beautiful tangency of bitterness and sweetness.

My favorite Ballast Point beer and my current favorite porter. What an excellent brew. Highly recommended.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a totally opaque black body beneath the rich, thick, mocha head which is very patient to dissolve and leaves a scattered, sticky lacing about the glass.

Massive aromas of coffee, roasted malt, and vanilla bean waft from the glass and backhand you in the face. It’s unreal. So far I have sat and smelled this for about three minutes before I even took a sip.

Abundant flavors of coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate, and roasted malt all mesh perfectly in the palate. As it warms the roasted malt and vanilla only become more pronounced with perhaps a touch of a cocoa after taste.

Medium carbonation with a thick, chewy body and a semi-sweet, yet roasted finish.

This beer is incredible, one of the best I’ve had in a while. The various flavors and aromas are fantastic and none overwhelms the others. Simply great.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow, so impressive. Only other vanilla porter I've had was from Breckenridge, also good, but more pedestrian than this. Pours black like a stout, always a good sign. Smell, just gives a hint of the vanilla, but there's more of that to come.

The taste if phenomenal. Delic. The vanilla must absorb some alcohol, because I was shocked after having a few sips to find out this is 10%. I was guessing in the 7% range. Love when that happens. So smooth, went so good with the pork tenderloin tonight, which usually you don't pair with a stout.

Subsequent batches haven't seemed all that world class, but always very good. But they keep selling out very quickly, so they must be doing something right.

Photo of mtomlins
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely delicious! A beer where the whole (overall rating) is greater than the sum of it's parts.

Photo of shand
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a chalice.

This brew pours a thick black color with brown highlights. It has a finger of mocha head that goes away quickly. Lacing is nice. The smell is awesome. Roasted coffee and malts on the nose, with some nice vanilla and chocolate aspects too. The nose did nothing to prepare me for the taste though. This hits the tongue super-creamy, with the vanilla, chocolate and coffee working in tandem for a great flavor. The vanilla and chocolate fade to roasted malts, which don't stay for too long, leaving a great coffee aftertaste. This is seriously good.

The mouthfeel is very creamy with a pretty high level of carbonation for the style. 10% alcohol? No way. I don't taste a hint of the alcohol here. This is dangerously drinkable. This is seriously a good brew. I saw the tag of "imperial porter" and shrugged it out, but I can surely see the difference between this and an imperial stout. Highly recommended, especially if you love coffee beers like I do. This is seriously good.

Photo of LordofWord
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Too spendy in the bomber format but ... yes it is tasty. Reminds me of ST Creme Brulee a bit, but less sweet. Wondering if cellaring it will tone down the heavy-handed coffee a smidge. Whatever the case, an overall excellent experience. Wish it came in sixers where I live.

EDIT: Hmmm, way heavier on the coffee the second time. Not as impressed. I am going to try cellaring it to mellow the coffee and bring up the vanilla.

Photo of CarverMG
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, soft head. Poured 1 finger settled to top of the glass. Looks like a brand new black car.. Can see the reflection of the glass perfectly off the black background.

S: Vanilla and Coffee together. Chocolate following. A stronger espresso hit than vanilla but still balances out.

T: Espresso, Vanilla, Small hit of the ABV. A small Initial aftertaste of roasted espresso beans. Small tastes of Chocolate. Noticeably enough The vanilla pairs well with the espresso.

M: Really Smooth, Mild Carbonation, ABV kicks, Coffee (in a good way) filling the mouth.

O: Very Good Porter.. I would recommend stout lovers or even non dark beer lovers to try this.. Its a good good beer.

Photo of vic21234
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. Enjoy by date on the bottle reads 12/20/13.

A- Pours a very dark brown/ black with some very slight red hues if held to the light. A small amount of off white head quickly fades to the sides of the glass. Some lacing is noted too.

S- Awesome smelling beer. Tons of coffee notes immediately upon popping the cap. The coffee dominates the aroma and nothing more is really noted.

T- Starts off smooth with notes of vanilla and chocolate. Then comes the huge coffee flavor which takes over the rest of the taste. A heavy coffee bitterness is at the back of each taste.

M- Smooth, medium bodied, coffee forward, bitter aftertaste.

This is a great Porter, by far the best I've had. The coffee notes are fantastic. I'm glad BP is distributing to Illinois now.

Photo of Glickj
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Well balanced overall, but a little heavy on the coffee in aroma and taste.

Photo of angelogarcia3
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out syruppy with a slight head. Very dark color almost midnight in darkness. Strong vanilla creme aroma. Almost smells like I'm getting ready to drink a cream soda. However, once you take a sip of this beer you know immediately that you're not drinking a cream soda. A strong chocolate flavor with hints of vanilla and coffee. An excellent beer that I could drink over and over again.

Photo of tut2528
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

had this one on 2 separate occasions, and I feel that this brew is extremely time sensitive because there was such drastic differences. I condensed both reviews. My review is based off the first time I tried this brew.

thanks to matttyce for helping me get my hands on these!

1st Review

A: poured into a GI tulip, it is jet black with about 2 fingers worth of mocha colored head. phenomenal lacing that is long lasting

S: big sweet vanilla, chocolate, dark fruits that are terrifically balanced. I also pick up on coffee and roasted malt.

T: similar to the nose, big chocolate and dark fruits up front, coffee and slight roasted malt in the middle with a terrific vanilla finish. alcohol is slightly present but is felt more during the mouthfeel than in the taste

M: perfect for this brew IMO. full bodied, leaves a nice light roasted coffee and dark chocolate character with a slight touch of alcohol heat

O: just a damn good all around brew. very well balanced and all the characters intermingle nicely together

2nd Review

S: huge coffee, dark chocolat,e dark fruits and roasted malt have come forward, and the vanilla is lying way in the back (4.0)

T: big coffee up front with a roasted malt backbone. dark fruits are present along with dark chocolate. the vanilla has really fallen off from what I remember. (4.0) No alcohol whatsoever

M: mostly the same as before, but a bit lighter than I remember and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. It has a more roasted malt character as well. (4.0)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-very dark brown liquid that lets just a little bit of light shine through giving off a red hue. The head is dark tan, thick and creamy with solid retention, well over a minute, and leaves a thick lacing on the glass. Borderline perfect appearance.

S-huge nose that brings roasted malts with a nice touch of vanilla leading into the roasted java, this is begging me to drink it!

T/M huge body!!! This is so thick it is chewy! The texture is very smooth and creamy. The taste brings huge roasted malts, some nice roasted java comes in next with a hint of vanilla. There is some nice dark chocolate and the finish is slightly bitter and brings a crisp bite

D- this beer is absolutely delicious, I really enjoy all of Ballast Point's offerings that I have had so far. This beer follows suit and is absolutely huge! I love the big coffee flavors and the vanilla is very light but mixes in well with the roasted malts.

Photo of stonewild
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Was like drinking baker's chocolate. Very nice beer, but WOW, I really needed something to clean the palate between sips. Which I had a strong cheese.

Dark, full body,dark chocolate bitter, rich flavor with a good touch of vanilla sweet.

When in the mood for a Porter's Porter, I would drink it again.

Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 5,534 ratings.